Padraig Harrington is ready to channel all of his focus into his bid to steal The European Tour Order of Merit – and the Harry Vardon Trophy – from the grasp of current Number One Robert Karlsson at the 21st and final Volvo Masters at Valderrama.
Harrington goes into the final event on The 2008 European Tour International Schedule in second place on the Order of Merit with €2,397,823 to his name, some €297,425 behind Karlsson.
But, with a record first prize on offer of €708,000, it is still very much an attainable target for The Open and US PGA Championship winner, who will utilise every ounce of his now legendary determination in an effort to add the 2008 Order of Merit title to the one he claimed in 2006.
Harrington was in buoyant mood as he faced the world’s Media at Valderrama, paying tribute to Ryder Cup team-mate Karlsson’s unnerving consistency on The European Tour this year, but also warning that the Order of Merit battle is far from over with 72 holes still to be played over one of the most demanding golf courses in the world.
“I know what I need to do this week, or more or less what I need to do. I've got to go out there and try and win the tournament, and there are two bonuses with that: if I win the tournament, I win the Order of Merit. So that's what's in my mind for the week,” said Harrington.
“Robert has played great all year. I think he's been very motivated on working on the right things the last couple of years and really has brought his game to a new level. You know, he really is a fine player, and if he wins on Sunday, he thoroughly deserves it. I think he has played superb golf this year and very consistent.
“Robert has performed more consistently in Europe than I have throughout the year, so consistency wise, and that's what an Order of Merit is, he probably deserves it – but that doesn't mean he gets it. We have to wait until Sunday to sort that out.”